Dozens arrested in Balkans swoop on drug traffickers

Authorities swooped on a suspected drugs trafficking ring in the Balkans, Bosnian prosecutors said on Friday, arresting dozens in the largest operation of its type in the region.

Several hundred police officers took part in the cross-border operation, codenamed "Walker", in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, a prosecutor's office statement said.

A total of 18 people were arrested in Bosnia on suspicion of being involved in organised crime, drug-dealing and other serious criminal acts, the statement said.

Large quantities of weapons and explosives were also found and seized during searches at multiple locations.

In neighbouring Croatia, special police conducted searches in the capital Zagreb and the southern Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik, where they made some 20 arrests.

And according to media reports in the tiny country of Montenegro, 10 people were arrested there.

The operation, the result of cooperation between prosecutors and police in the four former Yugoslav republics, was launched after a six-month probe, the Bosnian prosecutors said.

Criminals often use the so-called Balkans route to smuggle drugs, arms and immigrants towards Western Europe.